A drawing of a man and woman stood inside a circle made up of the UN Sustainable Development Goals icons.

Loughborough ranked first in Europe and 7th globally for advancing decent work and economic growth

The Times Higher Education (THE) Impact Rankings have placed Loughborough University first in the UK and Europe, and 7th globally for advancing Decent Work and Economic Growth – the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 8.

The Impact Rankings are an international measurement for assessing universities’ performance in moving forward the United Nations’ 17 SDGs. These were adopted by the UN in 2015 as a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure shared peace and prosperity for all people by 2030. 

The rankings include 2,152 universities from 125 countries/regions. 

SDG 8 is focussed on sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all. Loughborough’s success in this ranking is testament to its world-leading research and University processes. 

Its Climate Compatible Growth (CCG) programme is helping developing countries take a path of low carbon development whilst simultaneously unlocking profitable investment in green infrastructure. 

And its Centre for Research in Social Policy (CRSP) has built an international reputation for its work on the Minimum Income Standard (MIS). MIS is used to set the Real Living Wage in the UK, underpins the Retirement Living Standards, and is used by a variety of organisations to tackle issues around poverty, living standards and income adequacy. The model is now being adopted by several countries around the world. 

As an employer, the University is committed to fair pay and working practices and is an accredited Real Living Wage employer – the only UK wage rate based on the cost of living. 

Loughborough University was also ranked 54th globally for SDG 10 – Reduced Inequalities – and 57th globally for SDG 15 – Life on Land. 

Whilst Loughborough is proud of its ranking success, it is also signatory to the More Than Our Rank initiative which recognises a much broader range of our institutional ambitions, activities and achievements that are not captured by any university ranking. 
Find out more here: https://www.lboro.ac.uk/about/more-than-rank/ 

Notes for editors

Press release reference number: PR 24/77

Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines. 

It has been awarded five stars in the independent QS Stars university rating scheme and named the best university in the world for sports-related subjects in the 2024 QS World University Rankings – the eighth year running. 

Loughborough is ranked 6th in The UK Complete University Guide 2025, 10th in the Guardian University League Table 2024 and 10th in the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2024. 

Loughborough is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in the Times Higher Education’s ‘table of tables’, and in the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021 over 90% of its research was rated as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally-excellent’. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, Loughborough has been awarded seven Queen's Anniversary Prizes. 

The Loughborough University London campus is based on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and offers postgraduate and executive-level education, as well as research and enterprise opportunities. It is home to influential thought leaders, pioneering researchers and creative innovators who provide students with the highest quality of teaching and the very latest in modern thinking.